Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It's definitely a day for lots of tea and soup. It's super cold out (for San Diego at least) AND I'm sick... :( I was wondering why I had no energy, for what seemed like no reason, the past few days... Makes sense now.

I'm still at work today and Souplantation's soup sounded perfect! Right now, their Asian Ginger Broth is back and I LOOOVE it. It's so yummy and gingery and only 50 calories per cup! I got a large soup to-go and had them add tofu, mushrooms, and green onion to make the soup a little more filling. Comes out to only about 150 calories!!! And soup is always super comforting when its cold and you're sick :)

For the rest of the day at work, I'll be drinking a RIDICULOUS amount of water and snacking on a whole bunch of yummy, little clementines I happened to bring in to work today - perfect because I need that vitamin C!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ultimate Umami Salmon


Take a salmon fillet and, using a silicone brush, lightly brush on a thin layer of soy sauce then a thin layer of sesame oil on to the salmon. Then spread a thin layer of miso paste on to the fillet with a knife or the back of a spoon. Make a furikake crust by mixing some furikake with a tiny bit of canola oil in a bowl to just lightly moisten. Furikake is a Japanese rice seasoning that is usually made up of seaweed and sesame seeds. Sometimes it will have some other dehydrated things to add flavor (I think the kind I used also had some tiny pieces of dehydrated carrot, sweet potato, and a few other things). Basically... Furikake is AWESOME. Anyways... continuing.... take your furikake "crust" and press in to the to of the salmon then bake as you would with any normal salmon fillet! So easy and quick, but soooo yummy.

Carne Asada and Grilled Veggies

This is from a little while ago, but I thought I would post.... I've actually cut out all meat (except for fish) since then so this is definitely an old post...

I made some grilled carne asada and veggies a few weekends ago to take advantage of hanging outside in the last of San Diego's warm weather. YES, I know I'm a wimp when it comes to weather... It's 62 degrees F outside right now and I'm dying... The last couple mornings have been THE WORST getting out of bed with my heated blanket or out of the nice hot shower... Mornings have been about mid-50s... Don't hate me... I've lived in coastal San Diego most of my life and don't handle anything outside of the range of 73-78 degrees very well... My house doesn't have central AC or heater (well we have a heater but it doesn't really work and we've never really cared) because we rarely ever need it... Until this year.. OH MAN this year sucked for weather in San Diego...
High is FIFTY EIGHT for Thursday and Friday??!? Oh man.... How am I going to handle this...

ANYWAYS.... getting off topic... I chose flank steak for my carne asada because it's a nice healthy cut of beef that handles marinades very well. Carne asada marinade has a lot of acid, so it needs a cut of meat that can hold up to it without getting too mushy. Also flank steak just has great flavor and can have a great texture also if it's marinated well. Flank steak and carne asada marinade are perfect for each other!

I like following Tyler Florence's carne asada recipe with my own adaptions:

Here is his Mojo recipe (carne asada marinade) with my own twist:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • zest from 2 limes
  • zest from 1 orange
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • chili flakes
"In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes hour to allow the flavors to marry."
  • Add chili powder, cumin, chili flakes, salt and pepper to suit your own taste preferences. Feel free to taste the marinade to adjust seasonings as long as it hasn't touched any raw meat yet! I usually add about a nice big tablespoon of chili powder, a few teaspoons of cumin, and a pinch of chili flakes just because I love cumin and spice.
Then marinate your flank steak with this!! Put the steak and marinade in a large ziploc bag to marinate in the fridge for 1-8 hours - turn bag over and massage in to meat once or twice during it's marinating time.

Marinating flank steak!

"Grill (or broil) the steak for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium-rare." I like to baste mine with the marinade as I'm grilling. This way I can spoon some of that yummy garlic, zest, jalapeno, and cilantro chunks on to the steak and let it form a nice little flavorful crust. "Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal."

No matter how good this looks, don't touch it until you've given it time to rest so you don't lose all those delicious juices!

Now time for the veggies!! I pretty much took a bunch of veggies I happened to already have at home, seasoned them up, then grilled them.
Delicious healthy veggies

I had sliced white onions, green onions, broccoli, red bell pepper, and jicama. I squeezed some lime juice over all of them, sprinkled some cumin, chili powder, lemon peper, salt, and black pepper, then drizzled everything with a little olive oil.

Raw veggies seasoned up!

For grilling veggies (or other small things), it's nice to use a grill pan, so that your food is able to drain any liquids that come out in the cooking process and can get a nice char without losing your food to the barbeque by them falling through the wide grill grates... so sad when that happens!

I really like this grill pan because it has three different textures: one section with holes, so that liquid can drain through and everything can get a nice char from the direct heat by the flame; a crimped section if you still want to drain the juices, but don't want direct heat from the flame; and a completely flat section if you want to keep the moisture or for tiny things (like finely chopped garlic or onion).

I like to took advantage of the different grill sections to accommodate for different cooking times for each vegetable. First I cooked the broccoli over the section with the holes, then moved them over to the half with no holes to stay warm as I cooked the jicama. Then moved the jicama over with the broccoli and continued in the same pattern with white onions, bell pepper, and green onions.

Finished grilled veggies all mixed together

Final plated dish!

Plate the sliced carne asada and grilled veggies and finish with some fresh chopped cilantro and a final squeeze of lime juice. I had mine with Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere - one of my fav wines that is easy to find anywhere and isn't too expensive ($8 per bottle). This wine has a nice body and some spice that complements spicy steak very well! I also like that it has notes of chocolate and lot of berries in it, so when I don't finish the bottle with my dinner, it still goes well with some dark chocolate for dessert!

Today's lunch

Mostly leftovers from a Christmas party this weekend...

- a little bit of leftover tempeh that was marinated in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and lots of curry powder then grilled
- a GIANT tupperware full of raw veggies (jicama, cucumber, bell peppers, and celery) and a little bit of Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
- part-skim mozzarella string cheese

Last night's quick, yummy, and healthy (but ugly) dinner

Monday nights are one of my crazy nights... I'll usually leave work around 6, get home around 6:30 or 6:40, then have and about an hour to cook a quick dinner, eat, change my clothes,  and pack up stuff for the night and the next day before I have to leave for Taiko practice downtown for the night (my boyfriend lives close by my taiko practice, so I pretty much always stay with him Monday nights and need to pack up clothes for work the next day).

I like to always have some quick, partially prepared healthy foods on hand for nights like this (very often...).

For last night's random quick dinner, I needed a really filling meal with lots of protein and complex carbs to get me through the next few hours of working out at taiko practice. I was also pretty hungry from lunch because I only had miso soup and a salad that wasn't very big with vinaigrette and no protein for lunch. So when I got home, I quickly microwaved a whole sweet potato and topped it with a little bit of Smart Balance Light with Flaxseed, salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. I had that with a veggie burger I pulled out of the freezer and cooked (I found some veggie burgers that were made of veggies and all whole grains!) topped with whole grain mustard, vegetarian bacon, and an over-easy egg. Dinner completely done in less than 10 minutes!

Because veggies are super important for you, I snacked on a leftover veggie plate I put together for a party this weekend with some Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Greek Yogurt Dip while I was cooking. I didn't eat this whole plate though... haha!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Breakfast at Work!

Breakfast time! Half a grapefruit, plain nonfat greek yogurt with fiber (I added vanilla extract, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice to flavor), and a skinny peppermint mocha :)

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"AMAAAZING dinner tonight mmmmm. Spaghetti squash puttanesca, roasted fennel, and a salad of arugula, lemon, truffle oil, and parmaggiano reggiano. And some yummy russian river pinot noir. @88rj888 missed out tonight bc he wanted to watch the laker game... he thought watching the game would be better than eating an awesome gourmet dinner... And they lost again anyways so not worth it... HA!"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"I LOVE relaxing cooking nights!! Anchovies, kalamata olives, capers, chili flakes, and a glass of wine (for me) make an AWESOME puttanesca sauce. Hahaha this wine is GOOD!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"My favorite time of year (except that it's so freakin cold) bc I get to open up a fresh box of my fav tea and inhale its deliciousness"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Mmmmm kumquats!! Like healthy sour candy!!"

My love-hate relationship with Trader Joe's

Did a little lunch time Trader Joe's shopping to grab just a few things I needed for dinner tonight... Ended up spending almost $60... I love AND hate you Trader Joe's...

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"A couple flavors I love (green tea, ginger, and the combo of chocolate and orange) all combined in to one tea! Mmmm"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Souplantation Express

LOVE that one of the few Souplantation Express that exist is right by my office! When I don't have time to pack my lunch, it's perfect for staying healthy on a busy day at work because I can place my order online in advance. When it's ready, I just head over there, walk to the front of the line, pay, then bring my lunch back to the office to eat there if it's busy and I need to work through my lunch. It's only $6 which is a pretty good price for buying lunch considering the size of the salad (it's huge) and all the ingredients seem pretty fresh (don't taste like they've been sitting out for a while).

Today I had a salad made up of spinach, spring baby lettuce mix, celery, mushrooms, cucumber, cabbage, bell pepper, black olives, hard boiled eggs (for some protein and fat), edamame (for some protein), pepperoncinis, tofu (for protein), sunflower seeds (for healthy fat), avocado (for healthy fat), red onions, broccoli, red chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. When I'm super hungry or if I know I won't have time to eat a real dinner later that evening (my situation today), I try to make sure I add a good amount of ingredients rich in protein and healthy fats to keep me full longer.

Today was also the first day that I saw they had their Asian ginger broth as one of the options for a soup - I've only seen this in the actual Souplantation restaurants before. It's only 50 calories for a cup of broth and tastes sooooo yummy, so I also grabbed a cup of that to go with my salad. I added tofu, green onions, and red chili flakes to the broth and it was sooo yummy. And I'm not even done with my food, but I'm super full right now! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

~180 Calorie Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

This time of year always brings out my cravings for desserts, baked goodies, and, of course, PUMPKIN. And ESPECIALLY Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake. OHHH MAN.... That stuff is GOOD. But! Have you seen the nutrition information for it??!!? 1080 CALORIES PER SLICE!!


I really wanted to satisfy my craving, so I created my own version that was much healthier! I based my recipe off of these two recipes: using part of the "Eat Yourself Skinny" recipe to use as my crust and the filling for the "Bon Apetit" recipe to use as my filling (and made my own modifications).
I like using ricotta because it is much lighter and fluffier than cream cheese, sour cream, or mascarpone. Just be sure to blend it well, so the final result is smooth and not grainy (which seems to happen with ricotta). You don't get as much of the sour taste like in a traditional cheesecake, but I like that it makes the flavor and texture much lighter. Also, instead of a traditional crust, I just used the filling recipe for the pecan pies and pressed it into the bottom of a pan - this pecan layer will act as our crust!

**Note: for anyone that wants to make this with regular sugar, stevia, or any other sugar-substitute instead of Splenda, just make sure you conversions are correct so your final result has the right amount of sweetness! The granulated Splenda I used has an measures the same as normal sugar. But the Splenda brown sugar blend is twice as sweet as normal brown sugar, so if you are using normal brown sugar make sure to double what is in my recipe. If you are using stevia or any other sugar-substitute, convert appropriately based on what brand you are using.

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup egg beaters
- 1/4 tsp maple extract
- 2 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

 Filling Ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups reduced fat ricotta
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup Splenda, granulated
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
- 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and wipe with some canola oil to prevent sticking.
2. Mix all crust ingredients in a bowl then press evenly in to the bottom of the spring-form pan.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until this layer has set. Set aside the crust and start working on the filling!
4. Change oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
5. Blend ricotta, cream cheese, Splenda, egg yolks, 1 whole egg, and 1/2 tsp salt. Be sure to blend well until it is very smooth or your filling may come out grainy.
6. Set aside 1/2 cup of this filling and pour the rest of the filling over the cooled pecan "crust."
7. Blend the remaining 1/2 cup of filling with the other whole egg, pumpkin puree, Splenda brown sugar blend, almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
8. Pour pumpkin filling in a layer over the ricotta filling and use a spoon to make decorative swirls.
9. Wrap entire cake pan tightly with foil (use one piece to cover the bottom to prevent water from seeping in and a separate piece to cover the top to trap in then later release steam).
10. Place cake pan in a roasting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the cake pan.
11. Bake for 1 hour.
12. Open the foil over the top of the cheesecake to release steam every 15 minutes then reseal foil. The cake will need an additional 45minutes - 1 hour in the oven until the cheesecake is set.
13. Remove foil and allow to cool completely to set. It is best if it also has time to cool in the refrigerator to set completely.

I sliced pretty small slices (a good size for me) - getting about 16 small slices out of the entire recipe. This comes out to 178 calories per slice!!!! MUCH better than Cheesecake Factory's 1080 calories per slice!!

I liked having mine with a drizzle of some sugar-free caramel syrup and some Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Rooibos tea!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Stay healthy! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Picked up a late, healthy dinner to-go for me and Rommel from True Foods - love that place! Curry shirataki noodles, autumn seasonal salad, and a cinnamon grapefruit soda. don't normally drink soda and I should avoid the extra sugar but I couldn't resist CINNAMON GRAPEFRUIT!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cajun Seafood Boil!

I had a SERIOUS craving to make this a couple weekends ago. We took advantage of the last of the heat waves in San Diego and sat outside in the yard eating seafood. YES, it has still been super hot here the last few weeks (on and off for a few days at a time). San Diego's REAL summer is always about August through early-November.

I know this isn't a healthy post, but it was so delicious I had to share. Posting here will also help me remember what I did, when I want to make it again in the future :P

I purchased all my seafood from 99 Ranch Market just because Asian grocery stores are always the cheapest places to buy seafood. There was a sale on whole, unpeeled, raw shrimp with their heads so it was perfect! 4lbs for only $10!!! They were frozen though, but whatever it was a good price. 99 Ranch was also the only place in San Diego that I was able to find crawfish. I was disappointed that they were already cooked, but at least that's better than no crawfish. I really LOVE crawfish! Then, of course, crab legs!!! These crab legs were partially cooked and frozen - unless you buy whole, live crab, this is how you will usually find crab legs. Before starting my cooking, I made sure all of these were thawed completely so they cook evenly. Also, I used kitchen shears to snip tiny little cracks in the crab legs, so the boiling liquid can seep in and flavor the crab meat.

Anyways, here's what I did to make my cajun seafood boil / my own version of Boiling Crab:

Cajun Seafood Boil

- Cajun Crab Boil Seasoning (recipe below)
- Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (recipe below)
- Whole Garlic Bulb, sliced horizontally
- Whole Lemon (or two), sliced into quarters
- Whole Onion, peeled and sliced into quarters
- Bay Leaves, handful
- One Bottle of Beer
- Corn On The Cob, sliced into chunks 2 or 3 inches
- Small Red Potatoes (I didn't use any, but would taste AMAZING)
- Andouille Sausage, sliced into chunks 2 or 3 inches
- Whole, Unpeeled, Raw Shrimp with Heads (using unpeeled shrimp means juicier more flavorfull shrimp!)
- Crawfish
- Crab Legs
- Butter
- Garlic, minced
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Lemon Zest
- Cajun-style Hot Sauce
- Sa;t


Part 1: Cajun Crab Boil Seasoning
Mix 4 tbsp yellow mustard seeds, 3 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp whole allspice, 2 tbsp dill seeds, 1 tsp whole cloves, and 1 tbsp crushed red pepper. I added extra crushed red pepper because I LOVE spice. Make a pouch out of cheese-cloth, pour your boil seasoning into the pouch, and tie closed - this allows the spices to infuse the water without having the spices floating all in your water and getting random little chunks in your food... kind of like a giant tea bag! (

Part 2: Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning
 If you're going to make ANY cajun/creole food, you might as well get some help from the master, right? Emeril Lagasse!
Emeril's recipe: mix 2 1/2 tbsp paprika, 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp black pepper, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp dried thyme. For my recipe, I actually halved the salt so I can control it more myself. I think next time I make this I will actually leave out the salt completely, so I can add a lot more yummy flavor whenever I want without adding too much salt. (

Part 3: Let's get boiling!
1. Fill a large stockpot with water. Throw in your pouch of cajun crab boil seasoning, the whole garlic bulb, the whole lemon, the whole onion, a handful of bay leaves, and a bottle of beer. I took this opportunity to clean out my fridge a little - threw in some partially used lemons and onions that were sitting in the fridge already sliced open and a bottle of Newcastle IPA that has been sitting in the fridge for forever because no one wanted to drink it.... Us San Diegans are super spoiled by all of our AWESOME craft breweries.... I'm not drinking Newcastle IPA... If you can even call it IPA... You can barely taste the hops! ANYWAYS, let me stop my rambling and get on to the next step...
2. Let the water get to a strong boil and let it continue boiling for about 20 minutes so the water can infuse with all those delicious flavors
3. Season your water with salt to taste.
4. While the flavors in the water are building up, let's make our sauce! This is all to taste. Mix a lot of butter and minced garlic in a pan (I used about 2 sticks of butter and a whole bulbs worth of minced garlic, but I had a lot of seafood to cook). Melt the butter and turn down the heat to very low to let the garlic infuse its flavor in to the butter (10-15 minutes). Once the flavor has been infused, zest a couple lemons (I used three) and add the zest to the butter and garlic. Continue to infuse at low heat for another 5 minutes. Juice those lemons and add to the butter mixture then turn off the heat. Add a couple tablespoons of Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning to season. Set aside.
4. Let's get back to the boiling! If your pot has one of those built in strainers that's like a separate pot with holes in it that you fit inside the other pot (sorry if that's hard to explain), I would use that to easily strain out your seafood, corn, potatoes, and sausage. You can leave all of the boiling water seasonings UNDER the strainer, so it doesn't get mixed in with the food you will actually eat.
5. Throw the corn, potatoes, and sausage in to the boiling water. These take the longest to cook, so they should start cooking first. Boil these until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.
6. If your pot is large enough, you can throw in all your seafood! I had about 10lbs of seafood and only a regular stove sized large stockpot, so I did mine in batches. Also, since some of my seafood was already cooked, I thought it would be a good idea to do each of them separately to accommodate for their different cooking times and prevent over-cooking. Chewy, over-cooked seafood is yuck!! Shrimp should only take about 3 minutes - remove immediately when they have all just turned pink! They will stay hot and continue to cook for a minutes after taking them out, so PLEASE do not overcook!! Since my crawfish and crab legs were already partially cooked, I let the water come back to a rolling boil then threw these in until they were heated through (crab took a little longer since they were bigger) - maybe only 1-2 minutes.
7. Pour all your goodies (corn, potatoes, sausage, shrimp, crawfish, and crab legs) in to a large dish or bag and set aside.
8. Return to your garlic, lemon, creole seasoning, butter sauce. Add some of the nicely seasoned boiling liquid to your sauce until the consistency is to your liking. I probably added a cup or two of the boiling liquid to my sauce, but then again... I had a lot of food. Add more Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning until the flavor is to your liking (I love strong flavors and spiciness, so this is why I realized I should have left the salt out of Emeril's recipe... I kept wanting to add more of his seasoning, but it was starting to get too salty!). You can also add any creole-style hot sauce or just straight cayenne to add extra spice. Salt to taste, if needed. Making the sauce is all to taste - adjust levels of butter, garlic, lemon, creole seasoning, boiling liquid, and spice to your own tastes.
9. When you're finished with the sauce pour it all over your bowl or in to your bag of seafood and toss around to coat well.
10. Dig in, get messy, and eat!
Me and my creation!! We made one more spicy tray and one less spicy tray. My boyfriend and I were monsters and ate about 2/3 of the spicy tray ourselves. The less spicy tray fed four family members with half of the tray still leftover - I have a feeling they were afraid of getting messy so they didn't eat as much. We served ours with Ballast Point beers (YAYY SAN DIEGO BEERS!), grilled garlic bread, and salad. Did I even touch the salad? No... I know... Bad... But my hands were too messy... Lol.

Here's the damage by just me and my boyfriend... Our huge pile of shells... Dangerous...

Happy eating!

Simple Late-Night Dessert

Here's a sweet, yummy dessert I made a little while ago.

This is probably about 1/2 or 3/4 of a cup of nonfat, plain yogurt, about 1/8 of a teaspoon each of vanilla extract and almond extract, stevia to taste, and a few blackberries. Really yummy and I LOVE the flavor of sweet almonds with berries MMMMMMMM.

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Kale salad w persimmon, pomegranate, parsley, green onion, lemon, and olive oil. LOVE these fall fruits!!"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Maple spice TVP oatmeal w apples, pecans, and flaxseed. Low calorie, high fiber, high protein, and yummy!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"My lazy cooking and ridiculously low calorie dinner. Under 50 calories and somehow pretty filling! Shirataki noodles, dashi stock, miso, curry powder, soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, and pepper. Wish I had some green onions though..."

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Today's lunch = leftover grilled turkey burger with burger patty with with whole grain mustard, red chili flakes, onion, romaine, tomato, and avocado (no bread) with a low fat cheddar stick on the side!

No pic because it looks ugly... but it's yummy!! :)

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Resisting the pastries that someone brought in to the office... Went for some blackberries and yummy tea sweetened with stevia instead to satisfy my sweet craving and keep me from giving in. So glad my company started paying for fresh fruit and healthy snack to be stocked up in the office!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"First time breaking wood! Here's my broken boards!! Not all in the same hit though... Yet! Hahahaha... Maybe... Not... Someday lol"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"One of my fav snacks and it's still pretty healthy!! It's fake junk food!! Trader Joe's: whole grain mini rye toasts w spinach kale Greek yogurt dip"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Homemade Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (I halved the salt so I can control the saltiness myself). Going to use this to season the sauce for our seafood boil! Plan is to slow simmer lots of garlic and lemon zest in butter then add this creole seasoning, fresh lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste yummmm"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Spice blend for tomorrow's seafood boil day! Mustard seed, allspice, chili flakes, coriander, dill seeds, and cloves. Will use this along w bay leaves, lemon, garlic, and beer to season the water mmmmmmm!"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Beautiful day in a beautiful city. Why would I want to take the highway when I can take the scenic route home instead?"

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Look at ALL these spices I got for super cheap!! I love shopping at Sprouts."

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Shrimp, crawfish, and crab legs... Guess what we're planning this weekend?? CAJUN SEAFOOD BOIL!!!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat? How about a trick... for seeding pomegranates!

Happy Halloween!!! I remember one of my favorite things as a kid around this time of year was walking around with a piece of pomegranate, fingers and lips stained red from picking out the seeds and eating them. I thought it was hilarious because they were always in season around Halloween and it looked like my fingers and lips were covered in blood.... haha.

Here's a little trick for seeding pomegranates - no messy, sticky, stained red fingers and no yucky, bitter membranes mixed in with the yummy seeds.

Slice the pomegranate in half then take it apart and remove seeds while it is submersed in a big container of water. The juice from any seeds that pop will just go in the water instead of all of your hands and clothes, so less mess! And the seeds sink to the bottom while the white membrane floats to the top, so it's easy to separate!

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"One of my favorite seasons for fruits... Pomegranate season!!! Looks like blood... Haha. Happy Halloween!!"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Emergency lunch

I always have ridiculously busy weeknights and a lot of nights I'll get home late without getting a chance to prepare lunch for the next day. And I'll also wake up too late to prepare it. So I try to always leave healthy snacks and emergency lunch supplies in my office desk and fridge to prevent myself from eating out for lunch or even prevent myself from starving all day and end up binge eating a bunch of bad food at night... I usually try to make sure I leave some nuts, Trader Joe's instant miso soup, string cheese, yogurt, spinach, and salad dressing in my desk or fridge at work. My company also started providing healthy snacks for the office - usually fruit and granola bars. I try to always opt for the fruit since the granola bars have a lot of added sugar. I also like to keep a good stash of really yummy teas that I bring in from home (to have in addition to the teas my company provides for the office) because sometimes I'm not really hungry but I just have a craving to taste something yummy in my mouth - tea TOTALLY satisfies that craving for me. Btw, current tea obsession = Chocolate Yerba Mate, rose petal tea, and Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile mmmmmmmmm.

Anyways.... today was one of those days where I didn't have time to pack a lunch. Luckily, I have all my snacks and emergency lunch supplies in the office!! As I was leaving the house, I looked through my fridge and found a boiled egg to eat as my mid-morning snack and part of some leftover avocado to add to my salad. I also found an almost empty container of fat-free cottage cheese, so I added a spoonful of sugar-free jam to the container so I can have a protein-rich afternoon snack that will satisfy my sweet craving. I grabbed all of these quickly and ran out the door this morning.

Here is what I threw together for lunch!

Salad made of spinach (stored in my fridge at work), avocado (grabbed from home this morning), Trader Joe's hummus salad dressing (stored in my fridge at work), and some red chili flakes (I found one of those little packets of chili flakes you get with pizza that someone in my office had saved). I also had a reduced fat cheddar cheese stick (stored in my fridge at work) and some Trader Joe's instant miso soup (stored in my desk at work)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

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"Packed myself dinner for the long night ahead.... Get off work, sit in traffic for 1 hour (prob more bc there's an accident), tae kwon do 1.5 hours, drive 30 min, taiko 2 hours... At least I have some good food to keep me energized! Spaghetti squash, olives, feta, green onions, oregano, chili flakes, red wine vinegar, and olive oil."